Sedgwick County Manager Tom Stolz said Monday that numbers of new COVID-19 cases are continue to trend in a downward direction, and hospitals are now reporting that they are getting back to normal operations.
The county reported 24 new cases on Monday, with no new deaths to leave the death count at 483. The positive testing rate is five percent, and Stolz said that is significantly better after the percentages reached 20 percent in November and December.
Stolz said the situation with local hospitals has improved, although Wesley and Ascension Via Christi reported 90 coronavirus patients with 33 in the intensive care unit. He said it’s still a significant infection rate but it’s much better than it was late last year. Stolz said the hospitals are reporting a better situation with staffing since workers have been getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Stolz said the county has reduced hours for testing at the Extension Center at 21st and Ridge Road, and some staff members are being moved to the vaccination site. The county is now using the former downtown library in Wichita as the vaccination site. This week the county continues to focus on people 70 years of age and older, and now the county is getting extra vaccine for K-12 teachers and staff. Stolz said the process with teachers is expected to take a couple of weeks.
Stolz says there is anxiousness in the community about the vaccine, and he said it will take several months to get COVID-19 shots to people, going into the spring and summer. He said as more vaccines come in, the county will move faster in getting vaccine shots administered. The county has delivered almost 38,000 shots of the vaccine, with 26,000 first doses and about 12,000 second doses.
More information is available on the county’s web site at www.sedgwickcounty.org